Hitachi Data Systems Sets Course for TrueNorth; Takes On More VARs

HDS, a subsidiary of Hitachi Ltd., took advantage of its presence at the Storage Networking World conference in Orlando, Fla., this week to announce reseller deals with Brocade Communications Systems, CommVault Systems and InterSAN.

The agreement with Brocade means that its SilkWorm 3900, 32-port Enterprise Fabric Switch is now available worldwide through HDS. The switch is a modular building block for a departmental network but can also function as an edge switch within an enterprise storage area network (SAN) that is comprised of Hitachi Freedom Storage Lightening 9900 V Series and the Thunder 9200 storage systems.

Another VAR deal was inked with InterSAN, which means the startup's Pathline software is now available through Hitachi's worldwide sales force and support. InterSAN has been a member of Hitachi's TrueNorth Developers program since July 2001 and had adopted Hitachi's HiCommand framework APIs and integrated them into the Pathline software--which is a management product that enables IT managers to proactively track application service level agreements, fully automate storage provisioning and monitor distributed SANs from a single console. InterSAN will certify Hitachi's products through its Professional Services Partner Program.

And in another reseller deal, Hitachi has partnered with CommVault Systems and signed a worldwide distribution and support agreement to resell CommVault's data management software to multiplatform enterprise customers through direct and indirect channels.

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CommVault Galaxy software is a backup product that works on Windows, Linux and Unix platforms. Through policy management, IT managers can automate backup, recovery, migration snapshot management and media management across all topologies and operating systems. Galaxy is integrated with HDS' Shadowimage and Snapshot software for data replication.

"We feel the CommVault solution help us with return on investment backup and the ability to do backup and recovery from a centralized location," said Scott Genereux, vice president of global marketing and business development at Hitachi Data Systems.

These deals, said Genereux, are all part of Hitachi's TrueNorth storage initiative which includes the pledge to practice collaborative business development; to build intelligent storage systems and to build out its HiCommand framework module. HDS' HighCommand Device Manager is now CIM compliant. CIM, also known as the Common Information Model, is an industry standard that many vendors and customers hope will help ease the interoperability problems plaguing many storage environments today.

The CIM standard was a strong part of the discussions among the 2,000 attendees at Storage Networking World, but Hitachi executives said it will be six to 12 months before customers will see the standard incorporated into actual products. Genereux said Hitachi is making CIM a strong part of its long-term storage strategy that is aimed at creating open standards for heterogeneous environments.

HiCommand is now CIM compliant and they intend to build out the framework by partnering with other vendors. "As long as an ISV is CIM compliant, they can plug into the HiCommand framework," said Genereux. "Our plan is not to go out and reinvent the wheel. We plan to partner."